Necklace of Rare Bida Glass Beads from Nigeria and Baltic Amber M00662


This one-of-a-kind 18" long necklace is made of rare Bida glass beads from Nigeria and Baltic Amber.  

The 6 amber nugget beads range from 6x11mm to 10x12mm, and are mostly butterscotch in color, with some inclusions of white and light yellow on some beads.  The focal diamond-shaped bead in this necklace is about 22x25mm.  It came on a strand of certified multi-color Baltic amber, but it is not clear if this particular bead is really amber.  In particular, it does not fluoresce under UV light.

The dark honey color glass beads which dominate this strand are about 12.5x8.5mm and appear to be from Bida, Nigeria. They are rather rare as these beads have been out of production since roughly the 1950s.   According to Liu (Collectible Beads, p 24), Francis (Beads of the World, p107), and others, Bida beads were the product of the unique hot glass bead industry in Africa. These were crude, dark, mandrel-wound, sparsely decorated beads, sometimes with white stripes. According to Peter Francis (Beads of the World) occasionally Bida beads were also made of melted recycled glass which produced a few more colors.

The necklace is completed with antiqued copper spacers and bead caps, and a copper magnetic clasp.

Please note that the beads are old and have traveled from afar. There are some nicks and chips and shape irregularities are expected, although the beads are generally in excellent condition for their age.